<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Wed, 01 Apr 2015 23:48:38 -0700 Wed, 01 Apr 2015 23:48:38 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[San Diego to Adjust to "Unprecedented" Water Reductions]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:14:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/03-26-2015-drought-467452434_master-%284%29.jpg

San Diegans may not immediately know the full impact of Wednesday's unprecedented, mandatory water reductions as local officials try to find ways to meet the restrictions.

For the first time in state history, cities and towns across California will have to cut their water use by 25 percent, a goal set by Gov. Jerry Brown during the drought's fourth consecutive year.

The San Diego County Water Authority said the agency is still looking through the specifics of the reductions, trying to figure out just what measures will need to be put in place in San Diego to meet the goal. 

"While we are still reviewing the details of this morning’s executive order, we support the governor’s leadership and will do everything possible to help our region comply with the mandates," said Water Authority spokesman Mike Lee. 

Because the measure is new, Lee was unsure how specifically it would change water usage for San Diegans. Lee did say, however, that they would likely have to add new restrictions onto existing protocols already in place.

“The takeaway is we all have to do more,” Lee said. “It's an extremely unprecedented situation. San Diegans have stepped up with water conservation in the past, and we need to take another step forward as a community to do our part as the state does its part."

Details on how the executive order will affect residents will come in the next two to three weeks, when the city and county will have specifics on future water restrictions. The Water Authority Board will meet in three weeks, when they will decide on exact measures.

The district has never had to cut water usage by 25 percent as a result of an executive order, they said, so they don’t know what other measures will be necessary beyond stricter enforcement at the moment.

Rancho Santa Fe has one of the highest daily residential water uses on average in the county. The Santa Fe Water District, which represents Rancho Santa Fe, said Wednesday the some of the coming change would likely be better enforcement of current restrictions.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Wednesday he would announce in the coming days additional steps the city would be taking. 

"While it’s likely that water allocations will be passed on to San Diego from our water suppliers in the near future, we cannot wait to cut our water usage," Faulconer said, adding that San Diegans would follow the city's mandatory drought alert regulations. 

Brown's announcement comes as the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a source of water for 25 million Californians, recorded its lowest-ever snowpack. 

The State Water Resources Control Board will implement the reductions, a move that will amount to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water saved over the next nine months, according to Brown's office. 

Brown's order will:

  • Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments
  • Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models
  • Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use
  • Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

You can find ways to conserve water by clicking here. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-SeaWorld Trainer Caught Using N-Word]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:18:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/John+Hargrove+0401.jpg

A former SeaWorld trainer caught on camera five years ago saying the N-word has called his actions stupid, saying: “I’m definitely not a racist.”

The back-and-forth battle between ex-trainer John Hargrove -- who recently published a book critical of the park’s practices -- and SeaWorld came to a head with the park sharing the inflammatory video with reporters.

In the video, Hargrove is seen drunkenly talking on the phone with a woman who claims she was assaulted by a group of black men. Hargrove is heard repeatedly referring to the men using the derogatory term.

On Tuesday, La Jolla bookstore Warwick’s announced it was canceling a book signing with Hargrove in response to the video.

The former trainer, who once worked at SeaWorld San Diego, was featured in the documentary “Blackfish,” which took a critical view of the park’s treatment of killer whales in captivity. He released a book last month called, “Beneath the Surface,” scrutinizing the park's practices.

In response on Wednesday, Hargrove gave a lengthy phone interview with KPBS in which he calls the video embarrassing and not a reflection of his character.

“Certainly it’s offensive language and it should never have been used,” Hargrove said in the interview. “If we could all go back in time and change the stupid things we did and said when we drink.”

“I hope it doesn’t discredit me and I don’t think it will,” he added.

Hargrove went on to call SeaWorld’s leaking of the video a “smear campaign.”

“What’s more shocking is that SeaWorld would then push that video out to media outlets when it has nothing to do with my book, the content of my book, my career as a trainer – it was just a smear campaign,” he said.

In a statement, SeaWorld said: “As we have said all along, ‘Blackfish’ star John Hargrove repeatedly provided statements that were misleading, false or in conflict with statements he made previously. As someone who might report on Hargrove and his book, we believe it is important you see this video we received from an internal whistleblower.”

Hargrove told KPBS that he rarely drinks now.

"That night when I used (the N-word) and was heavily intoxicated I thought I was being funny at the time," he said. "Clearly it’s not funny, it’s obnoxious and you should not use that word."
 

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<![CDATA[Woman Dead, Man Injured in Oceanside Shooting]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:06:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/oceanside+murder+suicide+kirsten+jelinski.JPG

A neighbor reported a fatal shooting in Oceanside after he saw blood running under a bedroom door.

The man told 911 he heard gunshots inside a condominium at 4215 Vista del Rio Way just after 2 p.m. He had been in that condo earlier that day but left to take a shower next door.

When he returned, he saw the blood.

Officers found a woman and man, both in their mid-20s, on the floor. They each had gunshot wounds to the head, according to Oceanside Police Lt. Leonard Cosby.

The woman, identified by police as Kirsten Deanne Jelinski, was dead, but the man was still living. Paramedics took him to an area where a helicopter could airlift him to the hospital. He is currently on life-support. The couple were dating, officers believe.

Investigators suspect the shooting was an attempted murder-suicide, but they have not ruled out the possibility that it was a double homicide. Police are not releasing the man's name until his family is notified.

They have recovered a handgun at the scene. However, they have found no motive. Jelinski's father lived with the couple, but he was not home at the time, Cosby says.

Jelinski was an accomplished softball outfielder who played for Villanova University in Pennsylvania. She attended both Mission Hills and San Marcos high schools and earned three varsity letters in softball while also playing basketball and volleyball, according to Villanova's profile.

A nursing major, Jelinski has two siblings.

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<![CDATA[Voters Should Have Say in Stadium Plan: Sherman]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:54:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sherman-Mission-Valley-Plan.jpg

A San Diego city councilmember called for voter approval of any stadium plan Wednesday as he unveiled his suggestion on what a new NFL stadium could look like in Mission Valley.

An artist’s rendering shows a possible new look for the property that lies between Friars Road and the transit line west of Interstate 15 where the current Qualcomm Stadium stands.

The image suggests residential, commercial and retail spots added to land that currently houses just The Q and a parking lot.

"This would be a go-to spot, whether a game or not, with all the nightlife and other amenities happening," said San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman.

A Citizen Stadium Advisory Committee put together by Mayor Kevin Faulconer has already chosen the current site in Mission Valley as the best location for a new stadium.

The San Diego Chargers, who have announced they are considering building a joint-use stadium with the Oakland Raiders in Los Angeles, have said they prefer a downtown stadium.

The advisory committee said they will release a financing plan sometime in May.

San Diego City Councilmembers Sherman and Chris Cate, along with members of the San Diego River Park Foundation, presented their suggestions for how to use the Mission Valley property.

Sherman said the recommendations were pulled together by his staff after several town hall meetings with constituents.

He said his team has submitted the following recommendations to the advisory group:

  • There should be no cost to the general fund
  • There should be an iron-clad commitment for the Chargers to stay for the duration of any bond
  • A 20-acre park should be included in any proposal
  • Planners should consider future traffic issues in the area
  • Voters need to approve the plan
  • Any proposal must include the River Park Master Plan
  • The Chargers should pay market-rate rent for use of the land

Sherman said he has a financing plan that he would submit to the committee for consideration.

"If you venture with a developer, then they would have the access to the private sector to create the necessary debt and equity to develop the project. This is what they do," said Gary London with the London Group, who worked with Sherman to put together the numbers.

Read the details of his financial plan here.

Just last week, the City of San Diego and San Diego County officials decided to team up to look at stadium options and split the costs to develop that plan.

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<![CDATA[New SeaWorld Toilets Flush With Saltwater]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:16:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/seaworld-skytower-063014.jpg

SeaWorld San Diego is getting creative to make sure California’s precious freshwater doesn’t just go down the drain.

The park announced Tuesday it has included a saltwater flushing system in its newest restroom. With it, officials expect to save about 1.3 million gallons of freshwater a year.

The premise uses a big circle of ocean water. The bathroom plumbing pulls from Mission Bay – a move allowed under SeaWorld’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, the park says.

The system filters the water before it gets in the toilet, and after use, it heads into the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Once again, the water is treated and filtered. It then flows back into the ocean.

SeaWorld will bring out their ceremonial scissors for a toilet-paper cutting Wednesday as they open the saltwater restrooms for use.

Officials say this is the park’s latest effort to save amid California’s drought. Other additions include drought-tolerant plants, low-flow irrigation nozzles and controllers and a water-saving concrete cleaner.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[EMT Posed as Teen to Romance Girl: DA]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:20:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/EMT-Zachary-Stinchcomb.jpg

A former EMT with San Diego Rural Metro admitted to having sex with a minor under 16 according to a plea agreement reached Wednesday.

Zachary Stinchcomb, 23, of La Mesa pleaded guilty to one felony count in connection with a relationship he developed with a 15-year-old girl.

The two met around November 2014 on the website meetme.com and communicated via KIK, police said. Investigators say the girl was told Stinchcomb was 17 years old at the time.

After several months the girl ended the relationship, prosecutors said. The girl has not been identified by authorities due to her age.

Prosecutors allege the relationship between Stinchcomb and the teenager led to an incident on January 22 in which the girl accused Stinchcomb of holding her at knifepoint after he picked her up before school.

The teen girl said he demanded she remove clothing and then used the knife to cut off the girl’s underwear, according to a search warrant affidavit filed with the court.

According to the warrant documents, the defendant allegedly drove past the school, arrived to a park where he parked the car.

He was arrested and initially booked under two charges.

Under the plea agreement Stinchcomb faces up to four years behind bars and a $10,000 fine. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

Rural Metro told NBC 7 Stinchcomb is no longer an employee of the company.

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<![CDATA[Ind. Pizzeria Faces RFRA Backlash]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:03:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/f_bts_memories_pizzareax_150401_45af2a07732909de2740954a56c1d630.jpg

The tables have turned on an Indiana pizzeria after the business owners said they will be exercising their rights of denying service to same-sex couples in light of the new “Religious Freedom” bill.

Crystal O'Connor of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, about 20 miles southwest of South Bend, told a local TV station Tuesday that their restaurant would say no if a gay couple asked them to cater their wedding – because they flat out don’t agree with same-sex marriage.

“We are a Christian establishment,” O’Connor told WBND-TV. “We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything.”

She says her family “definitely” agrees with Indiana's new widely-protested "Religious Freedom" law which allows business owners the right to refuse service to those they believe to be a "burden" to his or her religious beliefs.

“That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?” Crystal’s father Kevin O'Connor told the outlet.

After their comments went public, hundreds of potential patrons flocked to the pizzeria’s Yelp page and poured it with negative reviews and poor ratings – ruining the reputation the family had worked for in the nine years since its opening.

Kevin O’Connor told NBC News the backlash has been a surprise to him “to say the least.”

"I really don't want to push it any further,” he said, mentioning he was considering closing the business.

But some of their customers stand behind them, and are refusing to let Memories go down without a fight.

Lawrence Billy Jones III, who works as a contributor for conservative radio station The Blaze, created an online fundraising campaign for the restaurant.

“It’s about supporting this family, it’s about supporting freedom,” Jones told NBC News.

"We had no idea that in two hours we were going to be able to raise $20,000 but, lo and behold, it's happening," he said. "It gives me hope when I see people outpouring their support."

As of Wednesday evening nearly 900 contributors had donated to support Memories Pizza, raising more than $33,000.



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Suspect to Surrender in Attempted Kidnapping: Atty]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:10:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Solana+Beach+Kidnap+Sketch.jpg

The man suspected of trying to abduct a 7-year-old girl from Skyline Elementary School last week will surrender himself to deputies Wednesday night, his attorney told NBC 7.

The suspect had agreed to turn himself into the sheriff's department through attorney Paul Pfingst. 

Pfingst, who did not provided the suspect's name, says he gave deputies the man's address, and they are on their way to arrest him. The suspect will then be taken to jail and processed, though it's unclear with what he will be charged.

On March 23, the suspect walked onto the campus not long after the dismissal bell rang and confronted the young student as she walked to her after-school program, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. The girl's father says the "reckless and crazy" man tried to silence her by wrapping tape around her face and started to carry her off.

However, the 7-year-old kicked and screamed, drawing the attention of staff and parents nearby. They chased the man but could not catch him before he drove away.

The community has been on high-alert since the incident, which prompted the Solana Beach School District to hold safety assemblies at each of its schools.

The victim's father sent out a mass email, warning fellow parents to teach their children to fight as his daughter did.

“Yell, scream, draw as much attention as you can,” he said in the chilling email. “This is what saved our daughter.”

The sheriff's department released a composite sketch of the suspect two days later.



Photo Credit: SDSO]]>
<![CDATA[SDSU Frats Named in Sex Assault Reports]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:24:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sigma+Alpha+Epsilon+SDSU.jpg

In 2014, more than half of the reported sexual assaults at San Diego State University were at campus fraternities, according to documents newly obtained by NBC 7.

The documents detail seven assaults last year and specifically name three fraternities: Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Delta Sigma Phi and Alpha Epsilon Pi.

According to the reports:

  • Three occurred at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
  • One occurred at 5000 College Place.
  • One was reported on Fraternity Row at 5255 55th Street.
  • One occurred at the fraternity Delta Sigma Phi located at 5560 Hardy Avenue
  • One was reported at the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Of the reported incidents at Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one was rape of a drugged or intoxicated victim reported on August 29, 2014. In that case, the victim declined to prosecute.The second incident at that fraternity was a reported rape by force or fear and was reported on September 22, 2014. There were no findings listed on the police report. The third incident was a case of mandatory reporting and was reported on October 25, 2014. It is listed as a closed incident.

The reported incident at Delta Sigma Phi was rape of a drugged or intoxicated victim, reported on November 23, 2014. The victim declined to prosecute, according to the report.

At Alpha Epsilon Pi, the one reported incident was oral copulation of an intoxicated victim. It was reported December 6, 2014. In addition to mandatory reporting, the report did not list any findings. 

Two reported assaults occurred at unnamed fraternities.

The reported assault at 5000 College Place was rape of a drugged or intoxicated victim. It was reported on November 6, 2014. No findings were listed on the report. The second reported assault occurred at an unnamed fraternity house located at 5255 55th Street. The reported incident was oral copulation of an intoxicated victim, reported on November 23, 2014. The victim declined to prosecute.

In December, the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at SDSU was temporarily shut down.

The Gamma Alpha was closed “as a result of a consistent pattern of policy violations that includes the harassment of a Take Back the Night March on Friday, November 21, 2014, as well as other significant hazing and alcohol misconduct issues,” SDSU said in a news release.

The fraternity could return to campus after the fall of 2016 if members adhere to new policies laid out by the university and the fraternity’s national office. The university will also investigate individual members for possible Title IX and student code of conduct violations, according to the release.

Last year the SDSU Greek Community announced new sexual assault awareness training for fraternity and sorority members. The new training requires all Greeks to take online courses called "Agents of Change" on sexual violence, attend a week of presentations on the topic and participate in sexual assault prevention events, including Take Back the Night.

The university has also been awarded a $200,000 grant from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

The grant will provide for a full-time sexual assault victim advocate on campus who will be trained and hired through the Center for Community Solutions. The money will also provide for a part-time police officer dedicated to sexual assault prevention.

In 2014, 13 sexual assaults were reported on campus. Police made an arrest in one case, though the District Attorney’s office later declined to file charges in the case



Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[DEA Busts Rare Hash Oil Labs in Poway, Vista]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:30:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DEA-Badge-Generic.jpg

Two labs using a new, rare method to make hash oil were raided Wednesday, ending a six-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

DEA agents served search warrants to four suites at a Poway business park, located at 13514 Pomerado Road, as well as another Vista address.

At both locations, they discovered hash oil laboratories that use carbon dioxide instead of the typical butane — something the DEA rarely sees, according to the agency's spokeswoman Amy Roderick.

The high-tech equipment is very expensive, but it can make huge quantities of hash oil. Though carbon dioxide is not flammable like butane, it still makes the process dangerous, Roderick said.

The agents seized a large amount of marijuana from the Poway location, but no arrests have been made.

The "business" on Pomerado Road was closed and appeared to be a front, said Roderick, used only for hash oil extraction.



Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego]]>
<![CDATA[Cop's Degrading Tirade Against Uber Driver Probed]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:46:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/uber+rant.jpg

The NYPD says the Civilian Complaint Review Board has taken over the investigation into a video that appears to show a police officer verbally abusing an Uber driver in an at-times xenophobic roadside tirade in the West Village Monday.

UPDATE: Cop in Uber Tirade Video Placed on Modified Duty, Blasted by Bratton

Police confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that the plain-clothed man seen screaming in the now viral video is a member of the NYPD, but they did not identify him. A spokesman said the department is "aware of the incident and video and it is under review."

The NYPD later said that the CCRB, an independent city agency with subpoena power, has taken over the investigation. 

The video was posted to YouTube by Sanjay Seth, one of the passengers in the Uber car. Seth tweeted that he testified Wednesday before the CCRB and "They are taking this complaint seriously."

According to Seth's YouTube post, his Uber driver honked his car horn at the officer later seen screaming in the video because the officer was trying to park on a Sixth Precinct street in the middle of the afternoon without using any blinkers or hazard lights, and the Uber driver's path to a green light was blocked.

The officer, seen wearing a green tie and blue shirt at points in the passenger video, got out of his unmarked car, which had flashing blue and red lights on the dashboard, and flagged down the Uber driver.

The three-minute video begins as the officer approaches the Uber driver's window and starts yelling at the driver, raising his voice over the Uber driver's muted apologies and efforts to interject.

"Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, 'For what, sir,'" the officer is heard saying in the video as he curses. "Stop it with that ... and realize the three vehicle and traffic law violations you committed."

"You understand me? I don't know what [epithet] planet you think you're on right now," the officer yells, making fun of the Uber driver's accent.

The officer then slams the hood of the Uber car and walks away; the Uber driver tries to apologize to his passengers, who tell him it was not his fault and inform him a video of the exchange was recorded. One of the passengers said it appeared the officer was on a "power trip"; the other called the man's behavior "really inappropriate."

The officer returns to the Uber car about 90 seconds after slamming the hood and storming off, the video shows, and continues to curse at and belittle the driver. The driver keeps trying to defuse the situation with respectful apologies. Then the officer goes off on him. 

"I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that," the man yells, apparently in reference to the car honk from earlier. "That's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"

"Almost how long? Two years?" the officer yells after the driver whispers a response. "I got news for you, and use this lesson: Don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do.

"That's the only reason that's not happening, because this isn't important enough to me, you're not important enough," he says.

The officer turns toward the passengers in the back seat, asks if they are fares and says something about the Uber driver wasting their days, too. The officer hands the driver some kind of piece of paper that looks like a ticket and leaves as the passenger cellphone video pans to the flashing lights on the dashboard of his vehicle, parked behind the Uber car. 

Seth posted video of the exchange on multiple social media accounts. On his Facebook page, he wrote, "Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York. The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough -- but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."

Seth wrote on Facebook that he reported the exchange to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. According to his profile, Seth works at a nonprofit in the city and used to work for the parks department.

Asked about the exchange by NBC 4 New York, Seth wrote, "This very unfortunate incident is between the driver, Uber, the officer, and the relevant authorities."

Uber called the behavior in the video "wrong" and "unacceptable," and said it appreciated the NYPD investigating.

"We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs," Matthew Wing, a spokesman for the ride share company, said. 

Michael Palladino, the president of NYPD detective's union, defended the officer portayed in the video, saying that "cops are just like everyone else." He said that the cop "is a person of good character and an excellent detective."

"He really should not be judged by one isolated incident," Palladino said. 

The CCRB handles complaints about four kinds of alleged police misconduct: force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language. 



Photo Credit: Sanjay Seth
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<![CDATA[Calif. Mandatory Water Restrictions]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:04:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/03-26-2015-sierra-snowpack-drought-467199106_master-%287%29.jpg

For the first time in state history, cities and towns across California must implement mandatory restrictions to reduce water use during the fourth consecutive year of drought under an executive order announced Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The unprecedented move follows the lowest snowpack ever recorded. Snowpack in the Sierra mountain range melts during spring and provides water for an estimated 25 million Californians.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," Brown said Wednesday. "Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."

Mandatory water reductions will be put in place by the State Water Resources Control Board across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent -- a saving that will amount to about 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months, according to Brown's office.

The drought's effects are rippling across the state, hurting wildlife and forcing farmers to leave fields unplanted. So far this winter, wildfires are burning through nearly four times as many acres as usual.

Brown's order announced Wednesday will:

  • Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments;
  • Direct the creation of a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with more water and energy efficient models;
  • Require campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to make significant cuts in water use; and
  • Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Water restrictions approved earlier this month banned restaurants from offering water unless customers ask and forced hotels and motels to offer guests a chance to deline fresh towels and sheets.

Those restrictions will require local water departments to cut back the number of days residents can water their lawns. If they don't, residents must follow a state rule limiting their sprinkling to twice a week. Homeowners are also barred from using sprinklers on days when it rains and for the next two days after.

Agricultural water users will now be required to report more water use information to state regulations.

Additional actions required by the order announced Wednesday include:

  • Taking action against water agencies in depleted groundwater basins that have not shared data on their groundwater supplies with the state;
  • Updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action against communities that ignore these standards; and
  • Making permanent monthly reporting of water usage, conservation and enforcement actions by local water suppliers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Diplomat's Son Threatened Cop: MPD]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:43:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dube-screenshot-police-shooting-miami.jpg

A Canadian diplomat's 15-year-old son -- already charged with murder in a deadly shootout with drug dealers police say he and his brother were trying to rob -- now faces new charges, after police say he threatened to shoot a detective in the head while in custody.

But the boy's father has said his younger son didn't kill anyone and was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, looking out for his older brother.

The younger teen is in custody and his 17-year-old brother was killed in a shootout when police say the pair -- both sons of Roxanne Dube, a prominent Canadian diplomat working in Miami -- tried to rob the drug dealers in a deal gone wrong. Another man is also charged.

The brothers' father, Germano Wabafiyebazu, told Canada's Global News that he was stunned by his older son's death and defended his younger son, who he said fired shots only to alert police.

"You can’t believe. You can’t believe. Terrible. You can’t believe that happened, but what can I do?" Wabafiyebazu said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NBC 6.

The older son was killed in the Monday shootout following a drug deal gone wrong, police say. Another 17-year-old named Joshua Wright was also killed, that teen's family confirmed. The Canadian government is working with Miami police to investigate.

Police believe Dube's and Wabafiyebazu's sons had been planning to rob the drug dealers, as NBC 6 first reported. The pair showed up to the drug deal in a Canadian government vehicle with official consular plates, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC 6.

The shooting began after the older Dube son went into Wright's apartment, one law enforcement source said. The younger brother had stayed in the car outside to act as a lookout, sources said.

Wabafiyebazu told Global News that after his younger son heard the gunshots, he rushed into the house to find his older brother dead, then began shooting in the air, drawing police to the scene and leading to his own arrest.

The older teen had been getting into trouble recently, Wabafiyebazu said, and appeared to have developed a problem with marijuana.

He said he had worried about what might happen when his children moved with his ex-wife to Miami, and about what kinds of friends his older son might make there.

"I would lie to you if I didn’t notice or expect it, that something like that would happen to him," the teens' father said, adding that he had not had any such worries about his younger son.

One of the accused drug dealers in Monday's shootout was also arrested and charged with felony murder.

Anthony Rodriguez, 19, who had been wounded and driven away, was caught and charged with felony murder and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

Rodriguez had been arrested back in February on gun and drug charges, after police said they found a loaded stolen gun, drugs and $4,000 in cash in his car at a gas station. The charges against him were dropped.



Photo Credit: NBC Miami]]>
<![CDATA[City Leaders Hold Off on City-Funded Indiana Travel Ban]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:29:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mike-pence-protests-split.jpg

Some San Diego city leaders are holding off on a city-funded travel ban to Indiana amid news the state would work to amend a controversial Indiana measure signed into law last week.

Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, has cast a sharp divide between those who say the bill protects religious freedoms and those who say the legislation authorizes discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The measure signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence last week does not allow for a state law to “substantially burden” another person’s ability to adhere to their religious beliefs.

Critics have said that the state law, where the definition of person would include businesses, associations and religious institutions, would allow for discrimination.

Several celebrities have canceled appearances in Indiana because of the public outcry over the measure. The head of the NCAA said he was "deeply concerned" about the issue in advance of the Final Four games scheduled there Saturday.

Several mayors from other cities have already put travel bans in place. However, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said he is waiting to see what Pence's proposed changes will do to the controversial law before enacting a travel ban with public funds.

A travel ban to Indiana could have a real impact on Indianapolis because the U.S. Conference of Mayors is scheduled to be held there in 2016. If changes to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are not made, Faulconer has said he will not attend.

After a press conference held Tuesday, where Gov. Pence said lawmakers would work to amend the law, Faulconer's Chief of Staff Matt Awbrey told NBC 7 the office would welcome an amendment to the law. Because of Cesar Chavez day, future travel plan records were not immediately available. 

"Assuming Indiana follows through with Governor Pence's amendment that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone, there will be no changes to the travel policy," said Awbrey. 

Council member Todd Gloria said that a travel ban would send a strong message to the state that other states will not support such a measure.

For Gloria, a law like the one passed in Indiana is personal.

“As a gay man of color, I’ve been dealing with bullies since junior high,” Gloria said. “The best way to handle bullies, I’ve found, is to fight back. This is about fighting back and making it very clear that we won’t allow this type of discrimination to stand.”

Late Monday, Gloria called on Faulconer and Council President Sherri Lightner to block public funds in San Diego for travel to Indiana until the law is amended or repealed in a memorandum.

“San Diego should join these other jurisdictions that have demonstrated their leadership for equality and let it be known that San Diego will rise up against these discriminatory practices taking place in our nation,” the memorandum said.

Prior to Pence's press conference, the mayor's office had asked the City’s Chief Operating Officer to restrict publicly funded travel by city employees to Indiana “if the law is not amended or repealed by next week.”

“I believe in equal rights for all,” Faulconer said in a Tweet. “Discrimination has no place in our society. I join @MayorBallard in calling for the repeal of #SB101.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Freebies at Opening of Donut-Ice Cream Drive-Thru]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:08:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DD+Ramona+store+front.JPG

Looks like sweet dreams really do come true: California’s first-ever Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins drive-thru restaurant is opening next week in San Diego’s Ramona community.

The hybrid eatery – located at 1410 Main St. – officially opens at 4:30 a.m. on April 7 and will offer various giveaways during its grand opening celebration. This includes a free medium hot or iced coffee to patrons on opening day, plus sweet samples. The first 100 customers to order will receive a Dunkin’ Donuts tote bag filled with special swag.

But here’s the best buzz: the first person in both the walk-in and drive-thru lines will be awarded free coffee for an entire year.

The opening day party will also include photo opportunities with Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins mascots, “Cuppy” and “Coney,” respectively.

The menu at the new Ramona restaurant will include iconic brand items like freshly-ground coffee, baked goods and ice cream. The eatery is owned by Southern California resident Mike Stout, who plans to possibly develop other standalone Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in San Diego County.

“We’re proud to open the very first Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins combo drive-thru location in the state,” said Stout in a media release Wednesday.

“We’ve witnessed a lot of buzz surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts’ expansion to the West Coast and are honored to bring the residents of Ramona a whole new experience for California with Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins together,” he added.

Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 and has more than 11,300 restaurants in 36 countries worldwide. Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 and operates more than 7,500 retails shops in nearly 50 countries. Over the years, Baskin-Robbins has rolled out more than 1,200 ice cream flavors and other treats.

San Diego is home to three other Dunkin’ Donuts locations: one in the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in Oceanside, the second at Naval Base Medical Center San Diego, and the third at Embassy Suites San Diego Bay Downtown in downtown San Diego.



Photo Credit: Dunkin' Donuts]]>
<![CDATA[K-9 Overcomes Pepper Spray, Ravine Throw to Capture Burglars: Cops]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:31:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/202*120/04-01-2015-bo-police-k9-dog-glendora.JPG

Pepper spray and a rugged hillside climb didn't stop a courageous police K-9 who helped bust members of a suspected burglary ring in the foothills east of Los Angeles.

Belgian Malinois Bo gave chase after four burglars caught in the act by a neighbor ran from the scene in Glendora just after 3 p.m. Wednesday, a police department spokesman said. Two subjects were arrested just after officers responded to the neighbor's report, but two other burglars ran up a nearby hillside.

That's when officers set up a perimeter and 3-year-old rookie K-9 officer Bo faced his first real-world law enforcement test. One of the subjects used pepper spray on Bo, but the irritant failed to stop the intrepid police dog.

"Bo did exactly what he was supposed to do," said Officer Scott Salvage, Bo's handler. "He chased one of the suspects up the hill, attempted to capture that suspect, the suspect attempted to pepper spray my dog. The dog fought through it."

The man then threw the dog down a ravine, but Bo landed on his feet and continued the chase.

"He recovered, went back up and took him into custody," said Salvage, who served the dog a pound of filet mignon as a reward.

Eventually, the suspects were caught and escorted out of their hiding place, which police said was deep in poison oak. Accomplices in getaway cars sounded their horns to alert the suspects, and officers ended up arresting them, too.

"The driver was repeatedly hitting the horn, trying to alert the suspects hiding," said It also alerted us, and we appreciated the assistance," said Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab.

Officers matched the burglars cellphone numbers with those of the getaway crews.

Investigators believe the suspects, eight were arrested, are a part of a ring operating out of Los Angeles.

NBC4's Vanessa Ruiz and Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Killed in Murder-Suicide by Chainsaw: ME]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:02:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/Lower+Moreland+Home.JPG

A Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, man choked his estranged wife and used a chainsaw to kill her before ending his own life with the machine, the county coroner ruled Wednesday.

Nicole Peppelman, 43, was murdered in the basement of the family's home along the 1100 block of Country Lane in Lower Moreland just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman said the mother of three suffered gaping cutting wounds to her abdomen from a chainsaw. She also was stabbed in the neck and choked, an autopsy revealed.

Her husband, 48-year-old Christopher Peppelman, then took the chainsaw to his right thigh and abdomen, according to the coroner's report. His death was ruled a suicide.

The couple's 14-year-old son discovered the bloody scene, officials said. The chainsaw was laying next to them. Their other two children were not home.

Friends told NBC10 that the couple had been separated and police said they had been to the home for domestic issues in the past.

Police and prosecutors continue to investigate the case.

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<![CDATA[Embassy Suites Gets Sweet Upgrade ]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:38:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ESSD_ATRIUM2_22006L.jpg

A downtown San Diego hotel has received some very “sweet” upgrades after the completion of an $8.5 million renovation project.

Embassy Suites San Diego Bay Downtown completed the major revamp earlier this month to its property located at 601 Pacific Hwy.

The project included the large-scale restoration of the hotel’s atrium and lobby areas where guests can now find new flooring, lounge décor and furniture, plus a new fountain, a big screen TV and a sculpture.
The atrium has a new skylight too, improving the natural lighting of the lounging space.

The building’s façade, elevators and 341 guestrooms also received updates. New planters and artwork were also added around the property. A revamped fitness center – including brand-new equipment – and a redesign of the hotel’s meeting spaces, hallways and guest areas rounded out the renovations.

As for on-site dining, guests can still find options across the atrium including the only Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins eatery in the downtown area, plus the PFC Bar & Grill.

The project was completed just in time for the busy tourist season. The hotel is just steps away from major San Diego stops, including the Gaslamp Quarter, The Headquarters at Seaport District and the San Diego Convention Center.
 



Photo Credit: Embassy Suites/Ramon C Purcell Photography]]>
<![CDATA[SD Veteran Among Those Rallying for Change in D.C.]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:30:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Wounded+warriors+washington+DC.jpg

A San Diego resident now recovered after surviving the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was one of more than 500 people that gathered in Washington, D.C. to call for solutions to issues affecting wounded veterans.

Kevin Shaeffer stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with other activists during the Wounded Warriors annual meeting.

“We go and trace back my service, 9/11, as being a survivor of the pentagon attack and I’ve lived my life with a motto of never forget,” Schaeffer said. “And so now I’m giving back with Wounded Warrior project and to help raise awareness about the challenges facing this generation to never forget and also let our veterans know they’re never alone.”

Shaeffer said he was in the Navy working as a member of the Pentagon staff in the Navy Command Center when the plane crashed into the building.

“It instantly killed everyone in my immediate vicinity,” Shaeffer said. “I managed to stay conscious and fight to get out of the space and was transitioned to the Washington Hospital burn unit where I was treated for some severe third degree burns on over 50 percent of my body.”

Now, he helps other veterans through the Wounded Warrior project.

“Our veterans face significant challenges in mental health, recovering physically, economic empowerment issues, transitioning to that new career, and working from a status of surviving to thriving,” Shaeffer said. “And that’s the difference between having a job and building a career, from struggling alone with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression to helping other warriors cope with their illness and also recognizing that they’re not alone and understanding that.”

The organization focused on economic empowerment, employment, mental health and long-term care as the most pressing issues for injured veterans in the coming year.

The project is looking for the public’s health in solving these problems and sharing solutions. You can visit www.stepupwwp.org to learn more or click this link.

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<![CDATA[Bratton Blasts Cop in Tirade Video]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:40:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/uber+rant.jpg

The police officer seen on video apparently verbally abusing an Uber driver in an at-times xenophobic roadside tirade in the West Village earlier this week has been placed on modified duty and transferred, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday.

"That officer's behavior reflected poorly on everyone who wears our uniform," Bratton said at a news conference before apologizing to the driver and the two passengers. 

Officials with the NYPD's detective union said earlier the officer seen in the now viral video is a member of the NYPD's Joint Terrorism Task Force, an elite group that handles counterterrorism cases in the city alongside FBI agents. The union said in a statement that the officer was leaving the hospital, where he was visiting a injured fellow officer, at the time of the rant.

"He really should not be judged by one isolated incident," said Michael Palladino, the president of the union.

Bratton disagreed, saying, "In that kind of encounter, anger like that is unacceptable. In any kind of encounter, discourtesy like that and language like that is unacceptable."

"No good cop can watch that without a wince," he said. "All good cops know that the officer just made their jobs a little bit harder." 

The altercation, which was captured on video by one of the Uber driver's passengers and has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube, is being investigated by the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The passenger who captured the video, Sanjay Seth, tweeted on Wednesday that he had been interviewed by the body.

According to Seth's YouTube post, his Uber driver honked his car horn at the officer later seen screaming in the video because the officer was trying to park on a Sixth Precinct street in the middle of the afternoon without using any blinkers or hazard lights, and the Uber driver's path to a green light was blocked.

The officer, seen wearing a green tie and blue shirt at points in the passenger video, got out of his unmarked car, which had flashing blue and red lights on the dashboard, and flagged down the Uber driver.

The three-minute video begins as the officer approaches the Uber driver's window and starts yelling at the driver, raising his voice over the Uber driver's muted apologies and efforts to interject.

"Stop it with your mouth, stop it with your, 'For what, sir,'" the officer is heard saying in the video as he curses. "Stop it with that ... and realize the three vehicle and traffic law violations you committed."

"You understand me? I don't know what [epithet] planet you think you're on right now," the officer yells, making fun of the Uber driver's accent.

The officer then slams the hood of the Uber car and walks away; the Uber driver tries to apologize to his passengers, who tell him it was not his fault and inform him a video of the exchange was recorded. One of the passengers said it appeared the officer was on a "power trip"; the other called the man's behavior "really inappropriate."

The officer returns to the Uber car about 90 seconds after slamming the hood and storming off, the video shows, and continues to curse at and belittle the driver. The driver keeps trying to defuse the situation with respectful apologies. Then the officer goes off on him. 

"I don't know where you're coming from or where you think you're appropriate in doing that," the man yells, apparently in reference to the car honk from earlier. "That's not the way it works. How long have you been in this country?"

"Almost how long? Two years?" the officer yells after the driver whispers a response. "I got news for you, and use this lesson: Don't ever do that again. The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting summonses in the precinct is because I have things to do.

"That's the only reason that's not happening, because this isn't important enough to me, you're not important enough," he says.

The officer turns toward the passengers in the back seat, asks if they are fares and says something about the Uber driver wasting their days, too. The officer hands the driver some kind of piece of paper that looks like a ticket and leaves as the passenger cellphone video pans to the flashing lights on the dashboard of his vehicle, parked behind the Uber car. 

Seth posted video of the exchange on multiple social media accounts. On his Facebook page, he wrote, "Our Uber driver, Humayun, was abused by a police officer today in New York. The rage, door slamming, throwing items into the car, threatening arrest without cause was bad enough -- but the officer's remarks at the end really took it to another level."

Seth wrote on Facebook that he reported the exchange to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. According to his profile, Seth works at a nonprofit in the city and used to work for the parks department.

Asked about the exchange by NBC 4 New York, Seth wrote, "This very unfortunate incident is between the driver, Uber, the officer, and the relevant authorities."

Uber called the behavior in the video "wrong" and "unacceptable," and said it appreciated the NYPD investigating.

"We are in touch with our driver-partner who was subjected to this terrible experience and will continue to provide any support he needs," Matthew Wing, a spokesman for the ride share company, said. 

Bratton said Wednesday: "I want to extend an apology to the driver of that vehicle and the two passengers in that vehicle for the behavior of that officer." 

The CCRB handles complaints about four kinds of alleged police misconduct: force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language. Bratton said "the actions engaged by the officer based on the video alone would indicate that those fall under the jurisdiction of the CCRB and their particular areas of jurisdiction." 



Photo Credit: Sanjay Seth]]>
<![CDATA[San Onofre Closure Costs May Get Further Review]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:45:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Onofre-Plant-Night-0327.jpg

San Diegans already pay the nation's highest utility rates. And for all too long, they’ve been on the hook for the lion’s share of the astronomical shutdown costs for the failed nuclear power plant at San Onofre.

The lamb’s share is owed by investors of the companies that own the ill-fated facility — Southern California Edison, 80 percent; and San Diego Gas & Electric, 20 percent.

But it now seems there's a chance that the financial liabilities assessed by the California Public Utilities Commission may not withstand further review.

Nearly two years after the San Onofre station closed, the battle over who pays what for the losses — the result of a radiation leak traced to defective replacement steam generators — was due to end on Tuesday.

But at 3:45 p.m. PDT Monday, the agency's chief administrative law judge, Karen V. Clopton, issued an order that puts the proposed funding scheme on hold — reassigning the CPUC’s investigative case from Commissioner Michael Florio to colleague Catherine Sandoval.

"What they're doing is reviving the case from the dead and bringing it forward with a new commissioner to hopefully give it a fresh eye — and an honest eye,” said San Diego attorney Maria Severson. “And that's what the ratepayers can be hopeful for."

Severson has intervened in the CPUC case with her law partner Michael Aguirre, arguing that the controversial settlement formula is grossly unfair — and that the machinations behind it were unethical.

More than 70 percent ($3.3 billion) of the fiscal burden stemming from the $4.7 billion debacle targets customers of SDG&E and SoCal Edison.

"In charging the ratepayers without finishing the proceedings is really a taking of their money — taking of money out of their pockets without just compensation," Severson said in an interview Tuesday.

And the ratepayers have been screaming 'fraud' ever since, accusing the CPUC of favoring SDG&E and SoCal Edison investors.

The CPUC has come under fire from outraged state lawmakers, and its former chairman Michael Peevey is under criminal investigation on suspicion of improper dealings with SoCal Edison.

The agency’s new chairman Michael Picker is taking heat for sponsoring a farewell tribute dinner for Peevey benefiting UC Berkeley's public policy school — which has since rejected the donations.

Outside the downtown headquarters of Sempra Energy — SDG&E's parent company — during the noon hour Tuesday, local ratepayers were asked for their thoughts on the prospect of covering most of the San Onofre losses, instead of the utilities’ shareholders.

"We shouldn't have to pay for that; they should pay because they're the stockholders,” said a woman named Lori, who declined to give her last name. “They make more money than we do. Why should they reap the cream of the crop and we are the ones that have to pay for it? Hell, no!”

Severson said the case’s reassignment would extend the legal timeline by two months.

Seeking reaction to this development, NBC 7 emailed copies of Clopton’s official notice to the CPUC, its outside attorneys, SDG&E, Sempra and SoCal Edison.

So far, none of the recipients has offered a comment.

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<![CDATA[Chula Vista Woman Faked Cancer Battle: Police]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:13:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Meaghan-Hudson-Cancer.jpg

Friends who shaved their heads and got tattoos to support a California woman’s cancer fight were shocked when the woman they thought was dying was accused of faking it all for money.

Investigators say the 25-year-old Chula Vista woman claimed to have cancer and accepted thousands of dollars in donations from strangers, family and friends for more than a year.

In the summer of 2013, Meaghan Hudson sent a text to her friends and family with the saddest of news. She said it was cancer, multiple myeloma, and chances for survival were low.

“At one point there was the understanding that she may have had less than a year to live,” Hudson’s high school friend Chelsey Whild told NBC 7 Tuesday.

Whild was Hudson's closest friend from their high school days in Dayton, Ohio. She and other friends rallied support by shaving their heads.

They got tattoos that read "sing on" - part of a chorus they all sang together as teenagers.

“It's not like she said, ‘Oh no. Don't get that tattoo,’” Whild said. “She was all for it. I know she thoroughly enjoyed being the center of it all.”

Hudson's parents started an online fundraiser that garnered $5,000 in support.

Whild said she helped to raise an additional $2,000 at Dayton bowling alley fundraiser the following summer.

“I wanted to show her that she wasn't alone,” Whild said.

Well wishes and support stopped only after an anonymous tipster told Chula Vista police the truth last July.  Hudson wasn't dying of cancer.

“I just think it was a lie that got out of hand, “ Chula Vista Police Lieutenant Fritz Reber said.

Investigators say when confronted, Hudson admitted she faked the illness.

She is due in court this month to face felony charges of theft by deception and grand theft.

Hudson's stepmother and father live in Texas. Margaret Hudson talked with NBC 7 on Tuesday and explained that Meaghan has a history of lying to get attention.

She and her husband have posted an apology on the fundraising page and promised to refund the donations.

Margaret says her step daughter needs to recognize the wrong doing and show true remorse.

Hudson is out on bond and living with a friend. When NBC 7 asked him how Hudson is handling the criminal investigation, he told us Hudson felt like the world was “hating on her.”

When asked if we could talk with Hudson, her roommate said she was not at home or available to talk.

Hudson's parents haven't spoken to her since her arrest.

Whild hasn't spoken with her either.

“It's still unreal sometimes. I still can't believe that it happened,” Whild said.

Chula Vista Police said Hudson is due in court April 29.
 

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<![CDATA[Teen Must Get Chemo at Hospital]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:19:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cassandra+c.jpg

A teenager taken into Connecticut state custody and forced to undergo chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma against her wishes hoped of leaving the hospital to finish her treatments, but that will not happen.

The motion her attorneys filed was denied on Wednesday and Cassandra C., a 17-year-old Windsor Locks teen, will have to remain in the hospital until she finishes treatments later this month.

The teen, who has been away from home and under the care of the state since the second week of December, never wanted chemotherapy. She pushed back, missing doctor's appointments, and ran away from home, but lost in court and was forced to continue treatment.

Cassandra, who has since gone into remission, says she was willing to go along with chemotherapy but wanted to be reunited with her mother and finish the treatment plan at home.

According to doctors at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where Cassandra is staying, the teen has an 85 percent chance of survival with chemotherapy.

DCF officials said in a statement in January that they were exploring options for Cassandra to live in a specialized group home when she was released from the hospital.

The state's highest court reviewed the case under an emergency appeal filed by attorneys representing Cassandra and her mother, taking up an issue previously decided by several other states – whether some minors are mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies.

The judges ultimately decided that Cassandra is not mature and needed to continue to receive chemotherapy. She turns 18 in September, a year after her cancer diagnosis.

Earlier this month, Cassandra testified in court through video conference from the hospital in hopes that she would be able to leave the hospital to finish her treatments. On Wednesday, the court denied the motion.

Joette Katz, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families released a statement in response to the decision.

"The Department is looking forward to the day later this month when Cassandra can happily return home after her treatment is completed and the doctors are confident that she has beaten the cancer. We know how difficult this has been for Cassandra and her family, and while we are very pleased with her response to the treatment, we also know this has been a traumatic and scary thing through which she has suffered. We want her to complete her treatment so that she can return home knowing she has put this completely behind her," Katz said in the statement.



Photo Credit: Cassandra C.]]>
<![CDATA[Spring Break Must-Try Treats]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:37:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BakedBear3.jpg

For most, Spring Break means rest, relaxation and a little indulgence. San Diego eateries know all about the latter, offering delicious dishes definitely worth a try this season. So, snag these bites, as seen on Yelp, and enjoy your break – it’ll be back to grind soon enough.

The Baked Bear (Carlsbad & Pacific Beach)
A cookie ice cream sandwich, made-to-order or custom -created: it’s the perfect spring break treat! The Baked Bear doesn’t quit with cookies. Stick ice cream between brownies or donuts, order a root beer float or go for the Bear Bowl: a warm chocolate cookie bowl filled with your choice of ice cream. The list of fresh-baked cookies includes flavors like funfetti, red velvet, peanut butter and more.

City Beat $5 Burger Week (available through April 6)
Over 50 local restaurants are offering a burger for just $5 until April 6. For instance, head to the Andaz and snag The Bloody Mary Burger with bacon, a fried egg, sautéed celery and onions with crispy onion rings, avocado and bloody Mary ketchup. Or, swing by Sublime Ale House in San Marcos for The Southwest Burger boasting jalapeno and pepper jack cheese. Click the link above for the whole list; it’s a mouthful.

Red Oven Artisanal Pizza (various locations)
Light and flavorful fire-kissed crust topped with fresh mozzarella and a sauce made with ripe tomatoes, plus olive oil and quality toppings? Yes, please! We suggest the Alsatian pizza which combines crème fraiche, bacon, caramelized onion, Gruyere and fresh thyme, or the Verde pie topped with arugula and truffle oil. Finding this local treat is like an Easter Egg hunt. Check the Solana beach Farmers Market on Sundays, the Carmel Valley Farmers Market on Thursdays and at Qualcomm Headquarters every Monday during lunch hours.

The Brigantine (six locations throughout San Diego)
Nothing says spring like the famous fish tacos found on the patio at The Brigantine Del Mar. But you don’t have to stay in the North County. Head into one of the six Brig locations across San Diego and snag this sought-after seafood staple: golden-fried fish topped with cabbage, salsa fresca, cheddar and ranch dressing on corn tortillas. Pair your bites with a beverage like the refreshing mint mojito or a classic margarita for a Spring Break treat to remember.

Nomad Donuts (University Heights)
Treat yourself to this crafty community-centric donut shop for a spring vacation indulgence. Executive Pastry Chef Kristianna Zabala creates globally-inspired donut flavors that change daily, often using locally-sourced ingredients found at farmers markets. The kitchen pays respect to traditional varieties, but you will also find very unique, delicious donuts in rotating varieties like Charred Blueberry Cream Cheese, Chocolate Salted Caramel with Toasted Almonds or White Chocolate Mint with Passion Fruit Jalapeno Drizzle.

Yummy Cupcakes (Encinitas)
No need to fight over what to snack on this Spring Break, Yummy Cupcakes has fought the war for you, and won. Wow your taste buds with flavors like Red Velvet Cocoa Cream Cheese and Banana Chocolate Chip, or more exotic creations like the Bacon Breakfast Bonanza, a brown sugar cinnamon maple cake base with actual bacon baked inside, frosted with vanilla bean buttercream, plus boysenberry syrup.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Baked Bear
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<![CDATA[Opening Day Block Party to Take Over East Village]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:50:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Petco-Park-Generic-Garske.jpg

The San Diego Padres Home Opener is on April 9 and the East Village community plans to celebrate the start of baseball season with one epic block party.

The 5th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on J Street between 6th and 10th avenues, just outside Petco Park.

The free, family-friendly street party will include live music from local bands and DJs, as well as an interactive game zone where attendees can test their batting skills. The area between 7th and 8th avenues will feature a country music-themed block.

In true San Diego fashion, a beer garden will be open between 8th and 9th avenues for the 21+ crowd boasting local craft brews from MonkeyPaw, Mission Brewery and Stone Brewing Co. Specialty baseball-themed cocktails will also be available from 619 Vodka, a local premium vodka brand.

In addition to East Village eateries, gourmet food trucks will line the area between 6th and 7th avenues offering snacks to revelers.

Needless to say, block party attendees will have plenty to do while they cheer on the Padres. Tickets to the Home Opener against the San Francisco Giants are sold separately on the Padres website.
 



Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Foodies Fulfilled at Taste of Hillcrest]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:18:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/HillcrestSign1.jpg

San Diego’s hip Hillcrest neighborhood is known for its food scene and later this month patrons have a chance to try different dishes from dozens of eateries all in one day.

The 15th Annual Taste of Hillcrest will fulfill all foodie fantasies when it takes over the neighborhood on April 18. From noon until 4 p.m., more than 40 restaurants will partake in the self-guided culinary tour that spans more than 12 blocks.

Hungry attendees can treat themselves to savory samples of dishes from all over the world, from Mexican and Thai food to fresh seafood and Italian cuisine.

Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online here for $30 per person.

This year, participating eateries include Hillcrest classics like the Crest Café, Bread and Cie and Urban Mo’s, as well as spots such as D Bar, Heat Bar and Kitchen and Hillcrest Brewing Company.

Others on the dining list:

• Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India
• Empire House
• Baja Betty’s
• Gossip Grill
• The T-Deli
• Fiesta Cantina
• Juice Crafters
• Luna Grill
• Lotus Thai
• Wine Steals
• Tap & Press
• Bearito Republic
• Trintea Tea
• Einstein’s
• 7th Avenue Pub at Whole Foods Market Hillcrest

For more details, visit the Fabulous Hillcrest website.
 



Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Flames Burn Three Attached Garages in Golden Hill ]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:35:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Golden+Hill+Fire+Garage+Attached.jpg

Three attached garages were on fire in Golden Hill, fire officials said. 

The fires happened at approximately 9:45 a.m.  Wednesday at Broadway and 30th Street in Golden Hill, officials said. 

The San Diego Police and San Diego Fire-Rescue departments are responded and put out the fire. 

Police were asking for traffic control in the area at the time of the incident. 

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<![CDATA[2015 April Fools' Day Pranks: Selfie Car, Twelfie Stick and More]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 10:51:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/selfie+car.JPG

Celebrities and companies did not disappoint this April Fools’ Day. Some unique pranks surfaced this year that you may not have noticed. Here's a look at some of the most creative.

The Honda Selfie Car

Honda says it prides itself for being on the forefront of the latest automobile technologies. The company "rolled out" its 10 camera-equipped HR-V that is equipped to take selfies. They said the technology uploads photos hands-free to social media sites via HondaLink.

'Twelfie Stick'

Twitter unveiled its "Twelfie Stick" Wednesday, a "highly sophisticated and first-of-its-kind device" that the company says would allow users to tweet out "selfie" pictures directly. Twitter said the device will be available in time for the holiday shopping season for $39.99.

Army Drones to Deliver Pizzas

The U.S. Army proposed using drones to deliver 3-D printed pizzas to men and women on the front lines across the world. Calling this "an expected breakthrough," the Army said the first drone pizza deliveries are to be made by April Fools' Day 2016.

Sam Smith is Straight

The "Stay with Me" singer tweeted that he is straight, which had a female fan asking, "Can you date me now?" One hour later, he posted that is was all a joke.

A Samsung Smart Knife?

Samsung presented its Galaxy BLADE edge, "the world's first smart knife with smart phone capabilities." The phone features a "razor-sharp diamond edge that is tough enough to cut through a lobster tail and sharp enough to slice through tender heirloom tomatoes."

Selfie Shoes

Are selfie sticks too much to handle? Why not get Selfie Shoes from Miz Mooz? The company said the tool adds functionality without sacrificing "comfort our women on-the-go have come to love about our footwear." How does it work? Just insert your phone into the port at the front of any shoe, raise your photo to the perfect angle and click the internal button with a tap of your toe to take a selfie.

Pac-Man Returns?

Google announced in celebration of April Fools' Day that you can now play Pac-Man on Google Maps. How does it work? Open maps in your browser, scroll to the bottom left and click on Pac-Man. Before you know it, you'll have something to eat.


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<![CDATA[Damaging Brush Fire Started as Controlled Burn]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:10:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150331-apple-valley-brush-fire-11.jpg

Mandatory evacuations were lifted overnight in a San Bernardino County community after a brush fire that started as a controlled burn spiraled out of control.

The Los Angeles County Parks Department had been issued a permit to start the fire to clear cattails in the Mojave Narrows, however strong winds soon caused it to spread uncontrollably after it was lit just before noon Tuesday.

The brush fire in Apple Valley spread to more than 70 acres and was 30-percent contained by Wednesday morning, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Residents were able evacuate to Sitting Bull Middle School. Two hundred firefighters were battling the brush fire at a dry river bottom between Victorville and Apple Valley.

Resident Bonnie Penfold, whose Humvee was destroyed by the flames, was unhappy the blaze had been started deliberately.

"I'm pretty pissed off, I could have lost everything," Penfold said.

Firefighters worked overnight to get to grips with the blaze, and it was 30 percent controlled by 11 p.m. Tuesday. Ground and air crews were attacking the fire in unison.

Seven structures had been also been threatened while a shed was destroyed.

A wood pile was set alight by a flying ember outside the home of Ermandina Quintania, who lives a quarter of a mile away from the fire itself. Luckily her neighbors helped her douse the flames. 

"I'm glad she was home... if not i don't know what (would have happened)," Quintania said.

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<![CDATA[Drought Prompts Early Training for Firefighters]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:00:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0331-2015-CalFire2.jpg

As the state enters its fourth year of drought and fire concerns are raging ahead of the summer, Cal Fire's academy for seasonal firefighters began outdoor training Tuesday two months ahead of schedule.

The department's hiring, training and staffing for the fire season has been accelerated due to California's severe drought.

"The fuel is already starting to dry out and so we need that response capability right now -- 60 days earlier than we normally would," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Nick Ciardella said.

For seasonal firefighters, the early start makes sense but is still hard to get used to.

"It's really strange," said Grant Bell, a Cal Fire seasonal firefighter. "I've never experienced this early of a fire season in my entire career."

The drought is also impacting the training since it is difficult to practice fire fighting without using water. Drills, for example, are set up so the well water goes back into the ground.

Officials said another advantage from early training is that staffing at Bay Area fire stations will start Monday.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cyclist Seeks Driver Who Left Him to Bleed]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:22:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cody-Crash-Victim-0401.jpg

An Oceanside man hit while riding his bike wants to find the driver who left him to bleed after he screamed for help.

The morning of March 19, Cody Picard, 23, was riding along Oceanside Boulevard when he turned into a parking lot just before the El Camino Real intersection. He veered into an oncoming car and was quickly on the ground.

“I was pretty messed up, and I was screaming for the guy to get out and help me,” said Picard in an interview Tuesday. “And he looked back for like 10, 15 seconds and took his right and drove off." He described the suspect’s vehicle as a silver-colored Jeep Liberty or Patriot.

Lying on the ground, Picard realized his knee cap was split in half, right down the middle, he said.

Picard then turned to other drivers for help, but they just drove by.

“Waving my arms, you know, 'Help, help, I'm injured! Somebody, anybody!’ And nobody would stop,” said Picard. “For like 20 minutes, I was waiting there, and I started actually feeling pretty faint, like I was going to pass out. And then finally, luckily, a CHP officer came by."

Picard was airlifted to the hospital, where he spent the next week undergoing surgery

With the use of a walker and a brace on his right leg, Picard now takes three medications to help him recover.

His case is one in an increasing series of injury hit-and-run crashes, according to Oceanside Police Lt. Leonard Cosby.

Because Picard’s incident happened on private property, the rules of the road don't apply, so both parties would have shared fault if the driver had stayed.

“There's no reason for him to have run,” says Lt. Cosby. “Running makes it bad for you."

Since the suspect did not check to see if Picard was OK, he now faces felony hit-and-run charges.

Picard told NBC 7 he has no anger toward the driver, but he wants him to come forward.

“I just worry that he is danger to other people and maybe he should have his privilege of driving taken away,” says Picard. “You can't just leave someone like that. Where's your humanity?”

Oceanside police are searching for the silver Jeep Liberty or Patriot with possible damage to its front, right fender. They ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash to contact them.

Meanwhile, Picard’s grandfather created a GoFundMe page to pay for his medical bills.

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<![CDATA[Region's Economy Continues Upswing, USD Index Shows]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:41:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*139/57532747.jpeg

The University of San Diego economic index rose for the ninth straight month in February, with six out of six components advancing for the second month in a row.

The index of leading economic indicators for San Diego County rose 1.3 percent to 136.0. The index is a project of Alan Gin and the university’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

Help-wanted advertising was the most robust of the six, gaining 2.38 percent, while initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 2.46 percent (the latter figure is inverted, since falling unemployment claims mean a rising economy). Building permits increased 1.58 percent, consumer confidence rose 0.68 percent, the national economy rose 0.49 percent and local stock prices rose 0.31 percent.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Car Slams Into Wall After Chase]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:39:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Paradise-Hills-Crash-0401_4.JPG

A woman was injured and left behind by the driver after a police pursuit ended with a crash into an apartment complex wall.

After midnight, California Highway Patrol officers say the driver of a Honda failed to stop.

A pursuit wound through Paradise Hills and came to an end at an apartment complex at Paradise Valley Road and Potomac Street.

That's where the driver veered off road, up the grass and through a wall. The vehicle stopped before crashing into apartment homes.

The man behind the wheel ran from officers. A woman inside the car was injured and taken to a nearby hospital where she was expected to be ok, officials said.
 

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<![CDATA[UC Davis Student in Murder-Suicide Was San Diego Grad]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:08:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/whitney+engler.jpg

The UC Davis veterinary student found dead in an apparent murder suicide was a graduate of Scripps Ranch High School, her parents confirmed Tuesday.

Whitney Joypauline Engler, 27, died alongside her roommate, helicopter pilot Joseph Andrew Hein, 23, early Friday morning in their Davis home.

Their deaths were reported after an hours-long standoff with a SWAT team, which started when someone at their home reported two people shot inside Thursday evening, according to NBC affiliate KCRA.

When police could not reach anyone in the house, they surrounded it and finally entered at about 2 a.m. Friday to find Engler’s and Hein’s bodies. Investigators are still investigating who committed the murder.

Police are also trying to track down her service dog Rosie, a 4-year-old Australian shepherd she kept for anxiety issues, KCRA reported. The pet escaped during the siege.

In a release, UC Davis called Engler a 4th year veterinary student with a passion for “finding the good in every animal.”

Friends, classmates and mentors held a candlelight vigil in her honor Saturday night.

“She had a job interview set up this weekend. Less than two months from graduating, she has all of these great things in her life, so to me she seemed perfectly normal, like her happy self,” friend Anjolie Daryani said to KCRA.

Engler’s parents, who are asking for privacy at this time, told NBC 7 they are attending a Celebration of Life for Engler at UC Davis on Friday.

A memorial scholarship fund was also set up in her name at the School of Veterinary Medicine.



Photo Credit: Remembering Whitney Engler Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Pants-Dropping Suspect Assaults Cop: PD]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:43:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/oceanside-police-0901.jpg

A suspect dropped his pants and exposed himself to a group of officers -- and then punched an Oceanside police officer in the head in a bizarre incident on Monday night, police said.

Officers were called in at about 10:30 p.m. and asked to provide medical assistance to the man standing at San Diego and Bush streets in Oceanside.

The man didn’t need medical attention, but wanted a ride to Tri City Medical Center to pick up medication, according to a news release from the Oceanside Police Department.

But police said when the man realized he wasn’t going to get a ride, he dropped his pants, exposed himself and made an obscene comment as he slapped his buttocks.

As officers were attempting to take him into custody for indecent exposure, he punched one of the officers in the head, police said.

The 22-year-old man, identified as Derrick Anders, was then arrested on charges of felony assault of a peace officer. Police said he's a transient but identifies San Diego as his hometown.

The officer was treated at the scene and returned to his shift.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego Observes Cesar Chavez Day]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:37:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/96525120.jpg

Tuesday was Cesar Chavez Day and San Diego was among the cities observing the holiday in honor of the labor leader and civil rights activist.

The City closed all administrative offices for the holiday. Local closures also included City recreation centers, public pools and all libraries. City officials said police and fire emergency crews would not be impacted by the holiday.

Parking meters, time restrictions on parking on streets and yellow zones will not be enforced during the holiday, but red, white and blue zones are still enforced every day, according to city officials.

Chavez was born on March 31, 1927. He died in 1993 at age 66. Today, his birthday is celebrated as an official state holiday in California, Texas and Colorado.

Locally, the University of California San Diego is hosting a series of 2015 Cesar Chavez events. The San Diego County & Imperial Councils is partnering with the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice for a pop-up memorial Tuesday afternoon at UFCW Local 135 on Camino Del Rio South.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oil Heir Andrew Getty Found Dead]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:20:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150331-andrew-getty-death-hollywood-hills-home.jpg

Andrew Getty, the grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, died at his Hollywood Hills home Tuesday, a spokesman for his parents confirmed in a written statement.

Police are investigating his death. Getty was 47.

The short statement, issued through PR Newswire, on behalf of Ann and Gordon Getty asked for privacy and said additional statements will be made as more information is available.

LAPD officers were dispatched after 2 p.m. to Getty's longtime home in the 2900 block of Montcalm Avenue after a call came in from an unidentified woman who reported someone dead in the bathroom.

Tuesday night, LA County Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said the cause of death appeared initially to be "natural or an accident" and not criminal. Winter said prescription bottles were collected at the home.

"He was not feeling good for the last couple of months and he supposedly had an appointment scheduled for tomorrow with a personal physician," Winter said.

Sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News that there was trauma to Getty's body but that its cause wasn't immediately unidentifiable.

Getty was found lying on his side between a bathroom and hallway.

Earlier in the day, LAPD spokesman Andrew Smith said the cause of death was "undetermined" and the case will be investigated by the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division, which handles high profile and complicated investigations.

Sources said it was not immediately clear if they were dealing with a homicide or a death by other means. The sources confirmed there was trauma to the body but details about the cause of death were not immediately available.

The Los Angeles County Coroner typically takes the lead in a death investigation. But if there is a crime, the LAPD will take the lead for the duration of the investigation.

Andrew Getty is a son of Gordon P. Getty, who was reported by Forbes in 2011 to have a net worth of $2 billion. Forbes last year listed the Getty family as No. 54 on a list of America's Richest Families.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Getty filed court papers two weeks ago seeking a restraining order against a woman.

The Getty family has had a colorful history. J. Paul Getty had five children over the course of five marriages. One of his daughters-in-law died of a heroin overdose. J. Paul Getty III was kidnapped in the 1970s and had one of his ears cut off before his grandfather agreed to pay the ransom.

About a decade after J. Paul Getty died in 1976, Gordon Getty arranged the sale of Getty Oil to Texaco.

NBC News' Andrew Blankstein and City News Service contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: KNBC/Robert Kovacik]]>
<![CDATA[Four San Diego Breweries Top Nation's Largest ]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:53:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/stone-delicious-ipa-gluten-reduced-beer.jpg

Four San Diego breweries are among a list of the nation’s 50 largest breweries in 2014, according to newly released rankings by the non-profit Brewers Association.

The list of craft and overall crewing companies in the U.S. ranks the breweries based on their beer sales volume.

Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido ranked as the largest brewery in San Diego, according to the list, and the ninth largest in the nation.

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits in San Diego ranked as the 31st largest brewery in the nation. Karl Strauss Brewing Co. ranked 45th largest and Green Flash Brewing Co. ranked 48th largest in the nation.

The economic value of the San Diego craft beer industry has doubled over the past three years, bringing $600 million in 2014, compared to $300 million in 2011, according to a newly released report by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

A startling comparison: San Diego’s beer industry brought in more money than Super Bowl 49 generated for the Arizona economy.

The Brewers Association is a non-profit that represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry and is dedicated to small and independent American brewers.



Photo Credit: Stone Brewing Company]]>
<![CDATA[Beagle Taken in by Encinitas Shelter Delivers Puppies]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:25:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Beagle+web+image+0331-PIC_0.jpg

Attention pet lovers: A pregnant beagle taken in by an Encinitas animal shelter gave birth to a litter of puppies, which will soon be available for adoption.

The beagle gave birth to three puppies on Friday night, and the puppies will be available for adoption in about eight weeks, said John Van Zante, spokesman for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

The mama beagle was among 35 taken in by Rancho Coastal Humane Society in February.

The owner of the beagles contacted shelter workers because she was overwhelmed by the sheer number of pets; she had more than 40 beagles and pugs.

Some of the beagles are still at the shelter while others are in foster care, Van Zante said. Another mama beagle gave birth about three weeks ago to a litter, and those puppies will need a home in about five weeks.

To donate to the puppies' cause, you can call the shelter at 760-753-6413 or donate online here.

You can learn more about the adoption process here.
 

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